woman sewing machine

Teach yourself to sew. Photo: Getty Images

Everyone has a yen to sew at one time or another, but very few try. Sewing is very satisfying and pretty easy.

Fact is, sewing was once considered a basic educational requirement, but these days wanna-be seamstresses are picking up their sewing skills on their own, rather than at the knee of their grandmother or from a home ec teacher.

Fortunately you'll find plenty of online resources to teach you what Grandma didn't. Here's how:

  • Getting Inspired: The first key to learning how to sew is to get inspired. Find a fabric store in your neighborhood. Browse the fabric aisle and sit down with a few good pattern books. You will find lots of great designs and the patterns are often designated as fast, easy or both. A simple skirt or dress is a good way to go. Or you can start with a cute pair of pajamas. Having a pattern and fabric that you love will get you a long way toward to tackling new sewing skills. Keep your eye on the prize!
  • Get Geared Up: If you don't already own a sewing machine, you will want to buy one. Since you are just starting out in the hobby, there's no need to go full throttle, but you don't want a machine that will make sewing a painful experience either. Sewing machines can range from $100 to several thousand dollars. Many start out with a very inexpensive machine and then graduate to more expensive ones as their skills improve.
  • Get a Notion: You will also want to equip yourself with a basic sewing kit, such as scissors, thread, a measuring tape, pins and needles, and a pincushion. You can even purchase a completely stocked kit with the essentials to get you started. You won't need much, as each new project will add more notions to your kit.
  • Teach Yourself: The web has more than enough education to get you started sewing. The Threads magazine website has come out with a new online series called "Teach Yourself to Sew." PatternReview.com has an ongoing roster of sewing classes. About.com has also created an abundance of information for beginners. Just remember, start out slow and be patients. Sewing is really more about the journey than the destination.
For more DIY Design columns, click here. Next week, perfectly easy fall accessories you can make.